Do golf carts have a VIN number?

A golf cart does not come with a VIN until you register for one. VIN or Vehicle Identification Number is a code assigned by the DOT to track the vehicle's movement when it is on the road. Most of the time, the VIN will be a 17-digit code.

A golf cart is a recreational vehicle that is limited to the course only. That means, usually, a golf cart owner does not have permission to take the cart off the course. As they are not made for driving on the road, golf carts do not demand a VIN. A golf cart may not come with a VIN, but it will have a serial number so that the owner can track the vehicle.

What is VIN?

VIN or Vehicle Identification Number is a 17-digit vehicle tracking number assigned by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to every on-road vehicle

The tracking number allows the department to track the vehicle's movement on the road to prevent it from participating in illegal activities. Besides, the VIN also helps to track the number of on-road vehicles in a particular region. It keeps the traffic system organized.

By any chance, if you lose your car or if someone stole it, the tracking number will come in handy to locate the position of your vehicle. If you are driving your car without a VIN, you are doing it against the law. If you get caught, you will need to face a penalty.

Why golf carts do not have any VIN?

A golf cart, in general, does not have permission to drive on the street. The vehicle identification number is for those vehicles that run on the road.

What is the purpose of having a vehicle identification number when you cannot drive the cart on the road? Here are the top five reasons why a golf cart does not come with a vehicle identification number-

  • First of all, a golf cart is designed for running on the golf course only. As you will not take your cart on the road, there is no meaning of having a vehicle identification number.
  • Second of all, it does come with a serial number to track it individually. Why DOT should invest their time to track your vehicle when you are not blocking the traffic?
  • Besides, it is also possible to apply for the VIN when you are ready to make your cart street legal. You are not altogether devoid of taking the possession. When you are ready, you will get it.
  • Moreover, golf carts do not come with enough speed to do better performance on the highway. It is always safe to drive the cart on the course.
  • Finally, a golf cart is not equipped with the necessary gear to enjoy a safe ride on the street. You need to install every essential piece of equipment to take it on the street.

How to identify a golf cart?

If a golf cart does not come with a vehicle identification number, how should the owner track the cart? A golf cart may not come with a vehicle identification number, but it comes with a serial number. The serial number allows the owner to track the movement of the cart.

The serial number helps the vehicle from mixing with the same model and color. Besides, in times of emergency, it helps the owner to detect the position of the cart. The serial number is also an excellent key to protect the cart from theft.

The serial number of the vehicle is more like the VIN for tracking the cart individually. The vehicle identification number is for official tracking, whereas the serial number is for individual tracking.

How to get a VIN for your golf cart?

The Vehicle Identification Number is for the official vehicles. But a golf cart is not an official vehicle to run on the street. Eventually, it is not altogether impossible to make your golf cart street legal. The first condition to apply for the VIN is making the cart street-legal. We will be talking about all these in the later section of this article. For now, let us learn about the process of getting the VIN for your cart-

  • The very first thing that you need to do to apply for the VIN is inspecting the local transportation rules of your area. You need to maintain all the regulations that your local DOT authority demands.
  • Once you have maintained all the regulations, you can apply for your unique vehicle identification number.
  • After applying for the number, the DOT authority will inspect your golf cart, including the weight, equipment, safety gears, and the like.
  • If everything is okay with the cart, the authority will assign you the number.
  • It may take some time to get the vehicle identification time. The time varies in different regions. It may take from three days to as long as one month.

Making your cart street ready

The primary obstruction that you may face while getting the vehicle identification number is making your cart street-ready. It takes some expensive modification to make the cart street legal.

It is necessary because going on the road without enough preparation can cause serious accidents. Here are some of the essential modifications that you need to make to make your trusty cart street legal-

  • First of all, you need to install the proper lighting bar kit to start your journey on the street. The lighting kit includes headlights, tail lights, turn signals kit, and the like. The lighting kit with the essential turn signal allows you to remain safe on the street.
  • The next thing that you need to install on the cart is a horn kit. The horn notifies the other drivers about your presence.
  • The cart needs to have enough weight to get ready to drive on the street.
  • The cart needs to have enough speed limit to get the authenticity to drive on the street. As a low street vehicle, a golf cart needs to have around 25mph speed aptitude for running on the road.
  • Once you have made all these modifications, you need to apply for the vehicle identification number from your local Department of Transportation.

If they think that you are ready to run on the road with your golf cart, you are all set to have a new experience.

Final words

A brand-new golf cart will not come with a Vehicle Identification Number. But it is not altogether impossible to get the number. You may contact your local DOT authority to get your VIN.  It requires some painstaking modification to get the VIN for a golf cart.

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